diamond cutter, he is hyper-focused on the
delicate process that takes place after rennin is
added to the milk, judging the crucial moment
when it forms into curd and is ready to be
sliced, then separated from the whey. He, like
farmer Marmiera, is fiercely proud of his contribution to making this delicious cheese, a
tradition that dates back to Charlemagne.
From the breakfast buffet at the classy
Beau Rivage Hotel in Switzerland to kitchen
tables throughout Europe, the approval rating
for Comté cheese is high. It pairs nicely with
champagne and wines from the Burgundy
region. It’s fab for fondue. It’s a great snack,
with a smoothness that provides a rich complement to the sweet crunch of an apple or
pear. It’s also excellent with multigrain bread
dense with pecans and dried cranberries, as
well as any French-style bread. My family
loves this Gruyère-style cheese in everything
from gratin potatoes to grilled cheese. Yours
will too. C
Mini Comté &
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
10 ounces assorted
Salt and pepper
8 2-inch brioche buns or
dinner rolls, halved
2 pounds ground beef
8 slices Comté cheese,
about 1/4 inch thick
Lettuce and tomato slices
Kathy Baruffi, a freelance travel writer and
researcher living in New York’s Hudson Valley,
is a regular contributor to USA Today and the
New York Daily News. She shops for Comté
cheese at the Costco in Spring Valley, New
York, where she also favors the Kirkland
Signature™ frozen yogurt (chocolate) at the
Cook the onions with the olive oil in a
medium skillet over medium-low heat
for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until
golden brown and caramelized.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large
skillet and sauté the mushrooms for 5
minutes, or until tender. Season with salt.
Preheat the broiler.
Form the beef into 8 4-ounce burgers.
Season each burger with salt and pepper
on both sides. On a grill pan, cook the burg-
ers on both sides to the desired doneness.
Transfer the burgers to a baking sheet and
top each with a spoonful of the mushrooms
and a slice of the Comté cheese. Broil just
until the cheese is melted.
Spoon some of the caramelized onions on
the bottom of each bun. Place the burger on
top, followed by the top bun. Serve the mini
burgers with lettuce and tomato on the
side. Makes 8 small servings.
Recipe by Craig Hopson, Executive Chef at
Le Cirque restaurant, New York City